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Here's the best of March--don't miss the Seth Godin video, the 1trickpony "sketch" site, and the pattern library.
P.S. Do you use InDesign, Quark, PageMaker? See the my ideabooks here:
For InDesign > http://www.ideabook.com/indesign_templates.html
For PageMaker > http://www.ideabook.com/pagemaker_templates.html
For QuarkXPress > http://www.ideabook.com/quarkxpress_templates.html
Web Design > Don't reinvent the wheel-it may be in a design pattern library
As Christian Crumlish, curator of Yahoo's Design Pattern Library puts it, "Design patterns mean different things to different people." Suffice it to say, to a communications designer, they offer a look at (and code for) the structure and layout of the parts and pieces of web interface design.
They are the best practices for creating elements such as tabs, forms, and selection devices for helping the user move around, browse content, and otherwise interact with a web page. The idea of the library is to ease the development of wheels that have already been invented and to propagate the use of proven practices.
There are many such libraries. Here are a few to get you started (I'd love to hear about others you have found useful).
The Yahoo Design Pattern Library...
Here > http://developer.yahoo.com/ypatterns/index.php
A site for a book titled, The Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design...
Here > http://designinginterfaces.com/
The site of interaction designer Martijn van Welie...
Here > http://www.welie.com/patterns/
In the Ideabook Design Store: Moleskine Notebooks...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_fonthead.html
Marketing PR > A history of Apple advertising
Here's some fascinating advertising history-an archive of many/most of the ads and collateral created for Apple since the first ad was produced in 1976. It is not only a history of Apple, it offers an interesting record of design trends and styles.
Seeing these ads gave me reason to call a dear friend, Charlie Clark, who was an art director on the Apple account for a year or two at Chiat/Day. He and his wife, copywriter Leslie Clark, have been back in Virginia for years now after a decade or two working for some of the world's top agencies. (If you are looking for a top advertising team, they are going strong as ever-brilliant, beautiful stuff.)
A history of Apple advertising...
Here > http://www.macmothership.com/gallery/gallery1.html
In the Ideabook Design Store: Task Force Clip Art...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_task.html
Illustration > How to weave your marketing message into a story
Last month I mentioned David Ogilvy's penchant for writing copy in the form of a story. Here are some excellent examples of the genre illustrated by James Bingham. What better way to communicate your idea than to spin it into a memorable anecdote or story.
Once you've seen this you can spend the rest of your morning (sorry) looking through Thomas Clement's American Art Archives-a treasury of illustration and advertising history.
James Bingham's storytelling illustrations...
Here > http://www.americanartarchives.com./airlines_of_the_united_states.htm
Here is the index of illustrators on the American Art Archives...
Here > http://www.americanartarchives.com/artist_bios.htm
In the Ideabook Design Store: Creative Business CD-ROM...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_business_creativity.html
Marketing PR > Learning curiosity
"It has nothing to do with income, nothing to do with education. It has to do with a desire to understand, a desire to try, a desire to push whatever envelope you're interested in."
That is how marketing guide Seth Godin describes the curious nature-a way of thinking I have learned to understand and embrace in recent years. (Ironic to hear it from Seth-years ago he called me with an idea for collaborating on a project and, if I remember correctly, I spent most of the conversation stomping on his curiosity. Unfortunately living and learning is the cost of admission.)
This is one of many brilliant short films by Nic Askew. Brief, but often profound vignettes with a wonderful mix of thinkers.
Seth Godin on curiosity...
Here > http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid980097284?bctid=1385253108
Lynne Franks, An eye in the storm...
Here > http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid894657255/bclid894543060/bctid627011201
Nic Askew's Monday 9am TV...
Here > http://www.monday9amtv.com/index.asp?function=WEBPAGE&page=3
In the Ideabook Design Store: Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_ethical.html
Graphics Tech > A design answer and a question
New York Magazine challenged five designers to come up with a cover for their "Best of New York" issue. One of the answers came in the form of a wall of words crafted by Gretel, the home of Greg Hahn-a smart concept with just the right contrast to the nameplate.
The question? Is the cover real or computer generated? I must admit I could not be certain. So I asked. (To see the answer, click comments.)
The New York Magazine cover by Gretel...
Here > http://nymag.com/bestofny/2008/covers/index2.html
Here > http://nymag.com/bestofny/2008/covers/
The Gretel site...
Here > http://gretelny.com/gretel.php
In the Ideabook Design Store: The Copywriter's Handbook...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_copywriters_handbook.html
Typography > A design painting
To me, this is a design painting. You have to step back from it to see what all the brush strokes add up to. You can argue that the technique is an impediment to reading, but it certainly made me take notice.
The Schwarzdesign blog...
Here > http://blog.schwarzdesign.de/
An English version (via Google Translate)...
Here > http://translate.google.com/
Google Translate (in case you have not used it)...
Here > http://translate.google.com/translate_t
In the Ideabook Design Store: The Color Harmony Guide...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_color_harmony.html
Print Design > "Paper enables a certain kind of thinking."
In his article for The New Yorker titled "The Social Life of Paper," "Blink" author, Malcolm Gladwell proposes that the only reason paper is viewed as an antiquated medium is because, "We have been tripped up by a historical accident of innovation, confused by the assumption that the most important invention is always the most recent." Had the computer come first, he speculates, we would think of paper differently.
I point to this because I think we can get so wrapped up in the beauty and flexibility of the online medium that we can loose track of the importance of the conventional form of communications-collateral, correspondence, direct mail, and so on. If you did not read it when it originally appeared, take a look, it is worth reading.
The Social Life of Paper, Looking for method in the mess by Malcolm Gladwell...
Here > http://www.gladwell.com/2002/2002_03_25_a_paper.htm
The article in PDF form...
Here > http://www.gladwell.com/pdf/paper.pdf
Here > http://www.gladwell.com/index.html
In the Ideabook Design Store: Templates for InDesign, QuarkXpress, or PageMaker...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/ideabook_templates.html
Marketing PR > Re-invention is in the news
If you think the disciplines of communications design are peaking, think again. The years ahead promise a perpetual need for re-invention-an insatiable appetite for re-defining and re-presenting ideas, organizations, products, services, and the people who represent them.
No where is the current need more pronounced than in the world of newspapers. The New York Times' "First Look" pages offer a peek at how The Times is attempting to marry the best of static linear layout with the expectations of interactivity and multimedia.
First Look at The New York Times...
Here > http://firstlook.nytimes.com/
In the Ideabook Design Store: Tintbook CMYK Process Color Selector...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_tintbook.html
Web Design > How to point potential clients to the strength of your design
Watch how the folks at Erowe Design stage their portfolio as three dimensional objects. And how they feature a closeup of one significant element of the design. It is one way to simulate the tactile experience of holding the pieces. Click on "PORTFOLIO" then "FINANCIAL" for an example. Notice how the position and lighting reveals the gloss coating applied to the cover headline. Nice.
Click on "PORTFOLIO" then "FINANCIAL" for an example...
Here > http://erowedesign.com/
In the Ideabook Design Store: Design-It-Yourself: Graphic Workshop...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_graphic_workshop.html
Ideas 101 > Design restraint
It would be difficult to overstate the importance of restraint in communications design. It is so easy to add elements to a layout that it is often difficult (for me) to know when to stop. I have struggled with it every day of my career-in print and online. Much of great design is brilliantly complex, much is brilliantly simple-at both extremes the key is knowing when enough is enough.
Here are two sites designed by Blue River Interactive Group. To my eye, both reveal a keen understanding of this art of restraint.
The KP Public Affairs cover...
Here > http://www.ka-pow.com/go/kp/
Inside KP Public Affairs...
Here > http://www.ka-pow.com/go/kp/the-kp-difference/
The Heath Ceramics cover...
Here > http://www.heathceramics.com/heath/
Inside Heath Ceramics...
Here > http://www.heathceramics.com/go/heath/goings-on/history-and-values/
In the Ideabook Design Store: The Desktop Publisher's Idea Book...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_dtpib.html
Web Design > Oops...found a design
Sometimes it happens this way. You get started and find a solution within a solution. I'm guessing this started out as a web layout and someone had the clarity to say, why not publish it as a sketch? To me, the finished product is even more interesting than where it was headed.
Here > http://www.1trickpony.com/store/
In the Ideabook Design Store: Before & After: Page Design...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_page_design.html
Learning > The power of encouragement
If you are a friend of this page, you know I don't spend a lot of time waxing philosophical. But a recent experience brought this to mind and, if you will indulge me this once, I'd like to share it with you.
Victor Kryston, Dill Cole, and The Eucalyptus Tree Studio...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/tutorials/1_view/post.html#more
In the Ideabook Design Store: Getting It Printed...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_getting_it_printed.html
Mind Vacations > What you want to watch, when you want to watch it
Since the inception of the box, scheduling has played a significant role in the success or failure of television programming. If you are hungry for something to watch, you click around until you find something you want to watch or settle for watching something that is "on."
Here comes the future. Fancast.com is a venture by behemoth Comcast that offers, at this writing, over 200 television series. Each episode of which can be viewed whenever you choose to view it. I guess this is good news-with no limits on when you watch, the quality of what you are willing to spend time watching should be raised. Maybe. I'm guessing there will still be people who will watch Doogie Howser, M.D. on purpose.
Now, an OFFICIAL DISCLAIMER: don't blame Chuck Green if you get canned for watching reruns at your desk-I warn you, there are fifty episodes of the Twilight Zone on this thing.
The current fancast.com menu...
Here > http://www.fancast.com/full_episodes
Vintage Twilight Zone...
Here > http://www.fancast.com/tv/Twilight-Zone/
This is also happening on hulu.com...
Here > http://www.hulu.com/browse/genre/tv
In the Ideabook Design Store: Before & After: Graphics For Business...
Here > http://www.ideabook.com/store_business_graphics.html
About the briefing
I try to remain as objective as possible about the information I share here. Unless otherwise stated, I receive no compensation from the organizations and people mentioned except for occasional product samples.
Comments? Suggestions? Write me at email@example.com